- Series: Terra Ignota (Book 2)
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (November 28, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765378035
- ISBN-13: 978-0765378033
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 56 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Seven Surrenders: Book 2 of Terra Ignota Paperback – November 28, 2017
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Praise for Book 2 of Terra Ignota, Seven Surrenders
“A breathless and devious intellectual page-turner, Seven Surrenders veers expertly between love, murder, mayhem, parenthood, theology, and high politics. I haven't had this much fun with a book in a long time.” ―Max Gladstone
"Wonderful 18th-century style narrative voice....a richly and highly sophisticated novel that calls for repeated re-readings." ―SFRevu
"The eloquence of palmer's reflections on social issues cannot be denied." ―Library Journal, starred review
"Palmer crafts one of the most compelling narrative voices around in describing this impossible, fascinating and plausibly contradictory world." ―RT Book Reviews, 4-1/2 stars
Praise for Book 3 of Terra Ignota, The Will to Battle
"It is increasingly clear that we are in the hands of a new master of the genre....There's a resonance and richness to the Terra Ignota series that is like almost nothing else being written today." ―RT Book Reviews, 5 stars
"Innovative, mesmerizing and full of fun. Ada Palmer lets her imagination weave a truly great political science story in an imagined world – full of lessons from real-world history." ―Washington Book Review
"One appreciates the wry humor and the ingenious depth of her worldbuilding. The interplay between reader and narrator is especially enjoyable." ―Publishers Weekly
"Any reader who has ever thrilled to the intricate machinations of the Dune books, or the Instrumentality tales of Cordwainer Smith, or the sensual, tactile, lived-in futures of Delany or M. John Harrison... will enjoy the mental and emotional workout offered by Palmer’s challenging Terra Ignota cycle." ―Locus
"This series is one the best things that has happened to science fiction in the 21st Century and I can’t hardly wait to see where Ada Palmer is going to take us with Perhaps the Stars." ―SffWorld
Praise for Book 1 of Terra Ignota, Too Like the Lightning
“Bold, furiously inventive, and mesmerizing…It’s the best science fiction novel I've read in a long while.” ―Robert Charles Wilson
“More intricate, more plausible, more significant than any debut I can recall…If you read a debut novel this year, make it Too Like the Lightning.” ―Cory Doctorow
“Astonishingly dense, accomplished and well-realized, with a future that feels real in both its strangeness and its familiarity.”―RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
"The Terra Ignota books are is the kind of science fiction that makes me excited all over again about what science fiction can do.” ―Jo Walton
“Excellent.” ―Craig Newmark
“Devastatingly accomplished…An arch and playful narrative that combines the conscious irreverence of the best of 18th-century philosophy with the high-octane heat of an epic science fiction thriller.” ―Liz Bourke
“Palmer proves that the boundaries of science fiction can be pushed and the history and the future can be married together.” ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
ADA PALMER is the author of the Terra Ignota series, including The Will to Battle. She is a professor in the history department of the University of Chicago, specializing in Renaissance history and the history of ideas. Her first nonfiction book, Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance, was published in 2014 by Harvard University Press. She is also a composer of folk and Renaissance-tinged a cappella music, most of which she performs with the group Sassafrass. She writes about history for a popular audience at exurbe.com and about SF and fantasy-related matters at Tor.com.
Top customer reviews
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I know the first book was very polarizing in that readers either enjoyed it or DNF'd or just didn't like it at all. I think if you made it through the end of the first book, you owe it to yourself to finish with Seven Surrenders. I really think they should have been sold as one huge Sci-Fi epic. I get why the publishers did it, but I think a lot of readers will miss out on at least the plot related answers we were asking after in book one. Too Like the Lightning does not feel complete without Seven Surrenders. This is part of a four book series overall, but I can tell you that Seven Surrenders does not end on the huge cliff hanger type ending we were given in Book 1.
I don't have any words to say that could do this book justice. There are too many topics covered. Religion. Individuality. Gender equality. Gender's purpose in society: whether it is completely learned or innate. Utopia. How society achieves Utopia: what it looks like for humanity as a whole. Morality. Whether a people's desire for justice and truth, a right to know, to not hide behind closed doors and propaganda, should be first before the safety of the rest of humanity. The greater good and the nature of goodness. Stagnancy vs. Progress. The nature of man. The nature of (G)od.
I don't mean to say that the author is offering answers to all of these questions, more like, she is imposing these questions to the reader. There are so many complex shades of gray in this story. They are important questions to be asked, and I have to wonder, if as Mycroft would say, Providence hasn't meant for these books to be released at this time. "Why now?" When Trump rules the USA, firing everyone who doesn't agree with him. Using his twitter accounts as his own personal form of propaganda. Calling any news channel who dares question him #FakeNews.
This is not an easy novel to digest and I think it will require multiple readings. It will be one of those books that you pick up something different from every time you read it. It is complex and intricate and we often aren't given the whole picture. People's motives are unclear and sometimes don't always make much sense in the context we receive them.
Aside from all the serious things happening, the world building was excellent. There are so many complexities to this society and I still have questions about it. I'm not sure what the difference is between blacklaws and graylaws etc. I don't understand the nature or purpose of all the Hives. Or precisely how bashes are formed. I'm not sure why The Anonymous is so important and what precisely their contributions are to society.
But most of what I love about these books is the characters. I'm still strangely attached to Mycroft. I'm attached to Sniper. I'm attached to Mother Kosala and Papadelias and Ganymede and am fascinated by all their strange interpersonal relationships. The plot is twisting and turning and once again, whenever you think you have something pegged, another bomb is dropped, another layer peeled away and everything shifts. It's like trying to solve a rubiks cube. For every shift of one square into place, another face of the cube has changed.
Overall- a fascinating and thought provoking read.
Ada Palmer set "God" up to be front and center. While she doesn't fail, I found the ending of the book to be disappointing. Despite many wonderful ideas the book settles for a comparatively pedestrian ending with the storm clouds of a looming war. I wish her best writing had been saved for last, not spent in the middle of the two books.
The one thing I have to say bothered me in this book was Mycroft's continued belief in Gender Essentialism. The problem with it is that at this point, I can't tell if the author also believes in the things Mycroft believes. Sniper bears the weight of Mycroft's antiquated beliefs in this book so much that I start to wonder if the author stands by these statements as something SHE would say to an intersex person. Sniper is basically called an "it" and a "hermaphrodite" the whole book, and the intersex community would be livid to hear that being said. It makes sense that Mycroft, mister Enlightenment, would say and believe those things... but does the author hold the same views? I hope she's a bit more educated on intersex terminology and literature, but I'm too scared to ask her and possibly offend her! Egad.
Gender Essentialism aside, great read, especially if you enjoyed the first book.
I really enjoyed Dr. Palmer's writing and I have since recommended these books to several people who read sic-fi. I especially like how she weaves in her immense knowledge of the classics, philosophy, Voltaire, the Marquis, and so many other historical figures. And how she imagines such different constructs in terms of family. Akin to the way that Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" envisions alternative family structures taking hold on the moon where there were very few women, Dr. Palmer goes much farther and envisions a world that has evolved responses to the religions which caused the Church Wars and nearly wiped humanity out. This is a brilliant piece of work, not just as sic-fi but in the way that it explores our own assumptions about ourselves, unexamined questions for many of us, and brings the philosophy of the Enlightenment to bear on our present and future. A ton of fun.